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Inferentialism and knowledge: Brandom's arguments against reliabilism

Zalabardo, JL; (2017) Inferentialism and knowledge: Brandom's arguments against reliabilism. Synthese 10.1007/s11229-017-1506-9. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

I take issue with Robert Brandom’s claim that on an analysis of knowledge based on objective probabilities it is not possible to provide a stable answer to the question whether a belief has the status of knowledge. I argue that the version of the problem of generality developed by Brandom doesn’t undermine a truth-tracking account of noninferential knowledge that construes truth-tacking in terms of conditional probabilities. I then consider Sherrilyn Roush’s claim that an account of knowledge based on probabilistic tracking faces a version of the problem of generality. I argue that the problems she raises are specific to her account, and do not affect the version of the view that I have advanced. I then consider Brandom’s argument that the cases that motivate reliabilist epistemologies are in principle exceptional. I argue that he has failed to make a cogent case for this claim. I close with the suggestion that the representationalist approach to knowledge that I endorse and Brandom rejects is in principle compatible with the kind of pragmatist approach to belief and truth that both Brandom and I endorse.

Type: Article
Title: Inferentialism and knowledge: Brandom's arguments against reliabilism
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11229-017-1506-9
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-017-1506-9
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Reliabilism, Truth tracking, Probabilistic tracking, Problem of generality, Pragmatism, Representationalism, Knowledge, Belief, Truth, Robert Brandom, Inferentialism
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1565256
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